Aviation History

Buckle in for these classic tales of commercial and military flight.

    • 2 episodes
    • 91%

    Explore the story behind the U.S. Air Force's A-10 Warthog—and how it was almost left behind.

    • 2 episodes
    • 90%

    During WWII, Germany explored every option for striking the U.S., including submarines, rockets, and the "Amerika Bomber" program.

    • 36m
    • 100%

    For over 35 years, the Sikorsky Blackhawk has been a reliable war horse for the U.S. Armed Forces–charging into hostile territory from the deserts of Iraq to the mountains of Afghanistan. After decades of upgrades, it remains one of the world's most sophisticated aircraft.

    • 37m
    • 100%

    In the mid-60's, a Supersonic airliner seemed a logical progression from the proven success of earlier jet transports. An ambitious Anglo-Franco alliance grappled with enormous aerospace obstacles from both sides of the English Channel.

    • 29m
    • 100%

    Because of Herman Goring’s relationship with Hitler, the Luftwaffe held more sway with Hitler than the Army or the Navy. Yet, Hitler often said it failed him. What caused the Luftwaffe, one of the most powerful air forces in the world, to come crashing down?

    • 23m
    • 100%

    The Lockheed Constellation, known as the "Connie," was one of the most elegant and aesthetically-pleasing aircraft to ever take flight. The iconic American airliner was the end product of a four-decade long search for the perfect airliner.

    • 2 episodes
    • 89%

    In the summer of 1942, a plan emerged to send the large German Ju86R aircraft on a mission over Britain.

    • 45m
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    In the 60’s, when the U.S. Air Force wanted a large, heavy lift transport aircraft, Boeing and Lockheed battled for the lucrative contract. Lockheed won, but Boeing moved foward with their commercial 747 "Jumbo Jet."

    • 2 episodes
    • 100%

    Early in World War II, the Mitsubishi Zero lightweight dogfighter was replaced by heavier, expensive aircraft—like the Grumman Hellcat.

    • 2 episodes
    • 88%

    The incredible story of the first African-American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces.

    • 27m
    • 100%

    This is the story of America's decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan during WWII. What factors lead to using such a devastating weapon to end the war in the Pacific?

    • 2 episodes
    • 100%

    As the Allies converge on Berlin, the Luftwaffe's "Elephant Planes" brave Russian fighters and launch their last heavy bombing attacks.

    • 2 episodes
    • 93%

    The U.S. Army Air Force becomes the USAF as America's military struggles for control of the atomic bomb—and the survival of Naval aviation.

    • 2 episodes
    • 100%

    After Nazi research facilities are bombed, an advanced “swing wing” jet fighter project is moved to a tunnel in the Bavarian mountains.

    • 15m
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    Volkenrode, an idyllic rural district in WWII Germany, remained untouched by Allied bombs during WWII. But beneath the peaceful veneer of treetops and farmhouses, was a secret Nazi complex. One that housed some of the most advanced research facilities in the entire world.

    • 2 episodes
    • 89%

    America’s WWII Marine aircraft, the F4U Corsair, is so hard to land on the carrier deck that it becomes known as the “Ensign Eliminator."

    • 2 episodes
    • 100%

    Considered by many to be the world’s first jet fighter, the sleek, fast and heavily-armed German Me 262 is, in fact, a distant second.

    • 2 episodes
    • 100%

    In an effort to stop the D-Day invasion, the Nazis develop two wild-looking jet aircraft that fly with the engines mounted on their backs.

    • 3 episodes
    • 100%

    Young Paul Tibbets gets a taste of flying and is hooked for life—later becoming part of something that would alter the course of history.

    • 24m
    • 100%

    As the US Navy pressed westward across the Pacific during WWII, the Japanese military turned to desperate, but often lethal tactics - the most legendary of which was the Kamikaze.

    • 25m
    • 67%

    While Hitler funds space projects for his war effort, rather than science, German space pioneer Eugen Sanger is a true believer in advancing science and space flight.

    • 25m
    • 100%

    Since fighter planes lack enough fuel to trek deep into enemy territory, engineers found ways for fighters to bring along their supplies.